Like a very long game of telephone, the Atlantis story was orally passed down for 9000 years before Plato immortalized it in writing. "There occurred violent earthquakes and floods," he wrote. "And in a single day ... the island ... disappeared in the depths of the sea." Plato reports Atlantis sat off the coast of North Western Africa, sank 12,000 years ago, and was inhabited by an advanced civilization. Since Plato's time, scholars and nonscholars alike have claimed to have deciphered the location of the lost continent. One popular theory suggests that Atlantis was in Greece and perished by volcanic eruption 3500 years ago. Yet, Plato never reported volcanic ash; plus, the location and timing are off.
A sunken land mass suggested to be Atlantis in 2001 by geologist Jacques Collina-Girard of University of Aix en Provence in France also seemed a promising candidate because of its location off the northwest coast of Africa. His work indicated that the island, known as Spartel, sunk slowly under the rising sea levels of a melting ice age starting 20,000 years ago and that by 12,000 years ago it was less than 500 meters across. But this timing and gradual sinking also does not resemble Plato's account.
Eh. Whatever. Assuming someone was around that even knew of this island's existence 12,000 years ago, and assuming that the story was passed down for another 10,000 years, and assuming that the story changed very little in 10,000 years of retelling, and assuming that people kept track of how many years it had been for 10,000 years, and assuming that the story somehow ended up being passed over to the Mediterranean, well, I suppose. . . .